Train With The Best By Mark Sangiao

team

As we open another chapter of our life as fighters and as a team, we take advantage of this time of the year to start and learn new things to add up to our arsenal in continuing to become the best of what we can be. As we wait of our next endeavors and challenges, we use this time to start learning new techniques while continuing to develop what we already have and sharing it to others who are interested in learning them for themselves and at the same time gaining additional knowledge from those who are already experts in other fields. We take steps little by little and try to explore what is best for us.

 With the opening of some opportunities and invitations from some individuals to share and exchange knowledge with them, we do not hesitate to do so. First, one of our Team Lakay Champions, Honorio Banario, who is the former ONE FC Featherweight Champion and the current URCC Lightweight Champion, is now in Malaysia to cross-train with T-REX Muay Thai and MMA Studio located in Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Mr. Gavin Tan, the CEO of the said gym, invited him to cross-train along with their top caliber instructors of MMA, Muay Thai and Wrestling for one month. With this, we intend to gain, share and interact with different types of disciplines, different types of people and different kind of environment. We hope this move will be successful as we also want our other fighters to follow or do the same at other gyms or organizations, because we believe this is one way of learning – Exploration with sharing.

We are at a chapter where we try to see if what works best for us at our own limitations. We want to make moves one step at a time and hope to have the best results that we can have. Now, speaking of these steps, we are also welcoming this week a former Cyprus wrestling coach to come at our gym in Baguio City and La Trinidad to train and share with us his expertise in this discipline. We will have him train and teach our fighters every weekend for one month then we will see what’s going to happen next. We hope with all these, we will be able to be more developed, gain more knowledge, and add to our skills in becoming complete, well-rounded fighters.  Because we will never cease to learn, we hope to achieve more in life by continuing to learn more things.

 As we go on with the gaining of additional insights and techniques, one of our aims is also to share what we already have. We came up with a new program wherein our fans, students, and members have the chance to train with our Team Lakay champions. We have Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Rey Docyogen, Dave Galera, Crisanto Pitpitunge, Mark Eddiva and Geje Eustaquio available to train those who are willing to be taught by these fighters who are considered to be among the best MMA fighters in the Philippines. They are available to train and teach at any of our Team Lakay gyms. Our Central Gym is located at 3rd Floor of Auyong Bldg, Kayang Street, Baguio City and at our Lakay La Trinidad Gym located at 2nd floor of Caoili Building, at Pine Valley Plaza, Km. 4, La Trinidad, Benguet.

So if you are interested in training with the best and to experience high-altitude training, you are always welcome to visit us at any of our gyms. This is a great opportunity for the fans to have an experience to train with the champions, as well as our regular coaches who are also champions in the making. We hope to share with our fans and students the experiences, the techniques and the attitudes of how to become a champion and as we always share our team motto, we believe that a champion is not born, he is made by the right people such as the coaches and trainers with the proper knowledge and with the people who can teach the proper attitude, background, experience and motivation. Every day in the gym we live by this motto, because indeed, Champions are not born, they are made.

MMA – It’s More Fun In The Philippines By Mark Sangiao

Photo Credit: Mr. Raul Landingin

Photo Credit: Mr. Raul Landingin

As the event is fast approaching, we become more excited. The ONE Fighting Championship 9: Rise to Power is scheduled tonight, May 31, 2013, 7:00 p.m. at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. This is going to be historic, since this is the biggest event in Philippine MMA yet.

Five of our Team Lakay Warriors will be proudly representing the Philippines. The ONE FC Featherweight Champion, Honorio “The Rock” Banario will be having his first title defense against Koji Oishi from Japan. Honorio, who is also the current URCC Lightweight Champion, has no plan of giving away his belt. He intends to take a hold of it for a long time.

Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, the undefeated URCC Bantamweight Champion, is fighting another Japan’s pride, Masakatsu Ueda, for the finals of the ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix. Belingon has a goal to be the next Filipino to have a World Championship Belt around his waist and a win against Ueda is going to be a great stepping stone for him to reach that goal.

Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang, the reigning URCC Welterweight Champion, is undoubtedly the face of Filipino MMA. He will be battling against Iranian Kamal Shalorus, who also plans to give the Filipino fans a great fight. Eduard promised to bring a different game this time and we will be witnessing that on his fight tonight.

The current URCC Pinweight Champion, Rey “The Punisher” Docyogen, is going to give the never-say-die attitude and wants to redeem himself from his lost to Shinichi Kojima last April of this year in Malaysia by aiming to defeat the second Japanese fighter he has to face, Yasuhiro Urishitani. Both are fighting under the ONE FC Flyweight division, the most fast-paced and fast-moving division in MMA.

Another flyweight bout, Team Lakay’s Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio will be fighting Andrew Leone, an American who is fighting out of Phuket Top Team, one of the best gyms in Asia. This will be one of the most exciting fights of the night. They both expressed their desire to bring explosive fight, so we’ll see about that come fight night.

So there you go about the ONE FC event. The weigh-in is done. All the Team Lakay fighters made weight. Cutting weight is one of the most significant aspect in preparing for a fight. Besides fighting in the ring/cage, which of course is the most important thing during a fight; not everybody knows the importance of cutting weight. The effort, time, and sacrifices given to cutting weight are very essential factors to be considered. I think for a fighter to be called “professional”, he has to give his everything to make his weight to be fair with his opponent and to follow respectfully the rules of the promotion.

On the other hand, another event going on right now in Manila is the PNG-POC, Wushu National Championships, where most of our Wushu scholars and members from the Cordillera Admininstrative Region are also here for the competition. The event is on-going and ends on June 02, 2013.

Almost all Team Lakay members and supporters are now in Manila for the two events especially for the ONE FC event. Their families, relatives, friends, fans and supporters are here to show their love and support.

Another great thing here is that fans from the northern part of the Philippines, as well as from around the country, are now in Manila for the said event. Likewise, fans from other countries came to visit the Philippines to watch the biggest MMA event the ONE FC has ever had yet. For this reason, therefore, events such as these contribute to the tourism campaign of the country.

After the events local and international tourists can still go on other tourist destinations in the Philippines. While it’s still vacation time particularly in the Philippines, for the students who came to Manila for this event, , they also have the chance to go to some places around Metro Manila and its nearby tourist spots before the start of classes in the coming weeks.

The ONE FC: Rise to Power is going to be fun and exciting! Like that of the first ONE FC event last year in Manila, which was held at the Smart Araneta Colliseum, the deafening cheers from the fans will again fill up the Arena at the SM Mall of Asia. It’s going to be amazing since the fighters promised to give their best and the fight of the night thereby, giving the fans full entertainment and at the end of the night, we hope we all go home with fulfillment, enjoyment, and positive results that we all have been hoping and praying for. GOD Bless Team Lakay Pilipinas on this endeavor!

On behalf of our Team Lakay fighters, Thank you very much for your support and prayers!

Matago-tago tako am-in! Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Indeed, when it comes to MMA and other Combative sports, It’s also More Fun in the Philippines!

Mark Sangiao Is Preparing His Pupils For The Biggest Fights Of Their Careers

coach mark 2

In the past few years, Team Lakay has been a major force in Asian MMA scene, especially in Philippine MMA. They are one of the reasons why Philippines is the hot bed for MMA in Asia today.

Team Lakay is the home of MMA champs such as ONE FC featherweight world king Honorio “The Rock” Banario, who is also the current URCC lightweight title holder. The Baguio-based MMA fight team is also the residence of PXC world bantamweight champion Crisanto “The Slugger” Pitpitunge, URCC welterweight champion and Martial Combat Superfight title holder, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, URCC flyweight champion, Kevin “Silencer” Belingon and the longtime URCC flyweight title holder, “The Punisher” Rey Docyogen.

If there is one man who is responsible for producing such great fighters, that would be none other than Team Lakay’s head coach, former URCC bantamweight champion, and former SEA Games Gold Medalist, Mark “The Machine” Sangiao.

Sangiao is a long-established martial arts practitioner. From kickboxing to taekwondo, judo to Brazilian jiu jitsu, Sangiao is truly, the pioneer of MMA in his home town Baguio City and arguably one of the people who brought MMA in the Philippines into a whole new level.

Sangiao knows how to build champions, he knows how exactly a fighter should train and eat because he is a former fighter himself; he understands the point of view of every fighter who trains at his gym.

mark sangiao 2

Team Lakay’s journey on top continues as they prepare for the biggest fights of their MMA careers. Mark Sangiao is getting his fighters ready for two of the most anticipated mixed martial arts events not only in the Philippines, but in whole Asia, as 8 of his best pupils will compete in PXC 37 and ONE FC 9 ‘Riste to Power’. Both events will be headlined by two Team Lakay world champions.

First up, PXC 37, happening on May 18th at The Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Philippines, as the current champion Crisanto “The Slugger” Pitpitunge makes his first-ever title defense against the undefeated and ground specialist from Japan, Michinori Tanaka. Also, two of Team Lakay’s young fighters, Troy “The Hunter” Bantiag and Jerome Wanawan will make their appearances at the said PXC event. Bantiag will go up against Guam’s Trevin Jones, while Jerome Wanawan looks to comeback to his winning ways against a very talented fighter from San Pedro, Laguna, Ernesto Montilla Jr.

After PXC 37, the mammoth ONE FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’ is up next for the Baguio-based fight team. The current ONE FC world featherweight champion from Team Lakay, Honorio “The Rock” Banario will also make his first title defense against a seasoned veteran in Koji Oishi of Japan.

Four more well-recognized Team Lakay fighters will make their toughest fights so far as Eduard “Landslide” Folayang faces WEC and UFC vet, Kamal “Prince of Persia” Shalorous, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon battles grappling wizard Masakatsu Ueda for the Bantamweight GP Finals, Rey “The Punisher” Docyogen takes on former UFC fighter, Yasuhiro Urushitani and “The Gravity” Geje Eustaquio is finally back inside the ONE FC cage against his toughest opponent to date, Phuket Top Team’s Andrew Leone.

team lakay elites

Mark Sangiao’s pushing his fighters to the limit to prepare them for tough battles against some of the big names in Asian MMA today. Team lakay fighters are known for their excellent condition, power and rigorous training regimen. Mark is assured that his boys are ready come fight night due to a very much-improved training that his fighters are doing for the big events coming up,

“They are doing great. The training leveled up compared to the last ones because they are training together and they know that they have their own big fights to win.”

mark sangiao 3

Getting a fighter ready for a big event is a very difficult taks to do. But from Mark Sangiao’s standpoint, as long as you and your fighters work together, nothing is impossible,

“No, it’s not hard to train them because we really work as a team and brought in some additional coaches who specializes in boxing and Muay Thai. Also, we have our own Sanshou background that we can add well with some wrestling techniques. We also added some extra time on our grappling. But all in all, training our guys here isn’t too difficult.”

Aside from bringing in coaches who specializes in Boxing and Muay Thai, Sangiao also arranged additional outdoor training for his fighters and added extra hour to every practice just to make sure that they are well prepared when they go to battle,

team lakay

“We adjusted our time of practice; we extended our training hours. Also, in this training camp, we only not focused ourselves inside the gym and having uphill sprints, we also added some extra training at Teacher’s Camp here in Baguio City for strength and conditioning.  So those are some of the adjustments that we made for this camp.”

All of Team Lakay fighters that will compete at PXC 37 and ONE FC 9 are matched up against world-class grapplers. It is evident from their past fights that whenever a grappler fights a Lakay fighter, it is either that grappler’s going to give the Lakay fighter a tough fight or submit him.

But as we all know, the game is continuously evolving so as the fighters. Lakay fighters, through their setbacks against ground specialists, gave them a serious motivation to train harder and focus more on sharpening their grappling skills.

First on Mark Sangiao’s list is Crisanto Pitpitunge’s title defense against Michinori Tanaka, who we all aware of being such a deadly fighter whenever he’s on the ground. Sangiao has been working on improving Pitpitunge’s take down defense and how to escape from various submission holds. Also, in PXC 37, Troy Bantiag will face Trevin Jones, a fighter who has a very intimidating wrestling game and serious punching power. Jerome Wanawan will make his first appearance of the year as he comes off a humbling loss against Eugene Toquero last year,

“Crisanto’s training is great. We know that Tanaka’s well-trained on the ground and has very decent grappling skills. That’s why we trained Crisanto’s take down defense and focused more on his grappling because we know Tanaka will try to take him down, so we also practiced various submission escapes.”

“Troy and Jerome also are doing great. They are very positive the whole training because they really want to win their fights. Another great thing about this camp is that everyone is helping each other to improve. They are forcing everyone to sharpen their skills and aim to level their skills up together. They will be ready on May 18th for PXC 37.” Sangiao added.

After PXC 37, ONE FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’ is next as Honorio Banario defends his title against Oishi, Belingon battles Ueda for the GP finals, Docyogen faces former UFC fighter, Urushitani and Eustaquio to lock horns with Leone.

Banario captured the title against Eric Kelly on February 2, 2013, at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Now that he is going to defend his belt for the first time, fighting in front of his home crowd adds up to the pressure. It is a tough task to fight world-class fighters in your backyard, but Sangiao is confident that Banario and the rest of his fighters will be 110% ready on May 31,

“Honorio’s training is phenomenal, especially that Eduard is fresh from the U.S and has some great techniques with him that he can impart to his training partner, Honorio. He really wants to retain his title and I am happy to see him doing all his best in every training session we have.”

“With regards to Oishi’s ground skills, I saw some of his fights and the truth is, he is not really that fighter who loves to take the fight to the ground. I watched some videos of him and he also likes to strike. I am pretty sure that this fight is going to be electrifying. My prediction for this match up is that thousands of fans will be on the edge of their seats. But just in case Oishi will take Honorio down, we are ready for that; Honorio can beat Oishi at his own game.”

Fresh off his TKO victor over Thanh Vu last April 5th in ONE FC 8, Belingon’s next assignment is to beat a fellow GP finalist, Masakatsu Ueda.

belingon vs ueda

Belingon is an extraordinary fighter. He comes to every fight with a lot of surprises. Whenever he steps inside the cage, he is a different man, a much-improved fighter every time he fights. He will face another high-level grappler in Ueda for the ONE FC Bantamweight GP Finals,

“Ueda is very refined on the ground, but Kevin obviously has a significant advantage in the striking department. If Ueda will take Kevin down, I’m positive that with the much improved grappling skills of Kevin, he can keep up very well with the Japanese’s game. Kevin is getting better and better every fight. So I know he will soon be a contender to the ONE FC Bantamweight title.”

After 7 weeks of refining his ground game in the U.S, the poster boy of Team Lakay, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is back and hopes to beat Kamal Shalorous using his much-improved ground game. Sangiao believes that Folayang’s U.S trip was a huge eye-opener for the reigning URCC welterweight champion to train harder to improve his wrestling and jiu jitsu game,

Photo Credit: Anton Tabuena

Photo Credit: Anton Tabuena

“We cannot say that in just 7 weeks of his training in the U.S, we can see a well-versed Eduard Folayang on the ground. But at least, he absorbed some important techniques that he can use in his future fights. His U.S trip was a great eye-opener for him to work harder to refine his grappling.”

Shalorous has been in the UFC and fought some of the best in the world, which makes him a real threat to Eduard Folayang. But Mark saw something about Shalarous game that Eduard can take advantage of and he believes that his pupil will win the fight,

“We watched some of Shalarous fights and we saw something that Eduard can capitalize on. I cannot reveal what it is, but I think Eduard is much faster and technical than him. I know he can beat Shalorous. But if Eduard can do it via KO or TKO, much better.”

When asked if his boys are ready for PXC 37 and ONE FC 9,

“Of course, they are good to go. But as of now, we are very cautious about them not getting any injuries as the fight day approaches very fast. That’s the only concern we have right now.”

Being a coach, adviser, provider and a second father to his fighters, aside from making their dreams come true; one great thing about handling these fighters in Sangiao’s assessment is changing those fighters to become a better person,

“That’s one of the great things about this sport. We’re dealing different personalities and change them for the better. For me, even if sometimes I am not around during practices, I know they will do their part as a fighter. I know they will do what is right whenever they’re in the gym, even though sometimes my eyes are not monitoring them. Because I am always telling them that you will not be a champion unless you train like one.”

When asked on who are the naughtiest Team Lakay fighters,

“I would say Rey (Docyogen) and Honorio (Banario). (Laughs) Unlike their other team mates, those two are the loudest people everytime we train; they always make their team mates laugh. Also, Troy (Bantiag), maybe it’s because of his age, but he sometimes doesn’t take things seriously, but I understand that. He still got a long way to go.”

Last year, through his personal Facebook account, Sangiao asked a question to his fans on whether they like to see him back in action inside the ring/cage. It was obvious in the comment thread that a lot of fans and friends want him to go back and fight. But due to his tight schedule preparing his fighters to various gigantic MMA events around Asia, it seems like he really hang up his gloves and focused himself on handling his fighters and setting up local MMA and grappling tournaments,

“We already discussed about that matter, but as much as I’d like to go back into fighting, with the tasks I have as the head coach of the team; organizing some local shows like Team Lakay Championship and Team Lakay Grapplers’ Cup, it is really rational for me to not fight anymore. It’s not that my body cannot do it anymore, it’s just my schedule is so tight that I cannot train hard because I have more important things to do like those I’ve mentioned a while ago. So right now, that is my focus, coaching and organizing our events.”

When asked on what advice he can give to those coaches who look up to him,

“For me, to be able to stay hungry in the sport, is they need to check their passion for this sport. Then they need to look at the future of MMA in our country. If they want to be successful in this sport, all they need to do is focus and get real serious about it.”

“I am always saying about this to other coaches – we need to have healthy competitions among us. If we have events here in Baguio, they are welcome to join us. If they do have events in their own provinces, we are glad to join and help them. Let us just take away that traditional mentality of comparing each other’s abilities; we need to have a healthy competition. We need to learn from each other for the benefit of the sport. Here at Team Lakay, we are willing to invite them to join our events. We set aside our pride because we know that we also need the knowledge of Muay Thai practictioners, Wrestlers and Jiu Jitsu, for us to be a well-rounded.” Sangiao added.

ONE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP FINALIZES ONE FC: RISE TO POWER CARD WITH THREE EXCITING UNDERCARD BOUTS

5 team lakay

Here’s the official release:

08 April 2013 – Singapore: ONE Fighting Championship™ (ONE FC), presented by Casino Filipino and in association with Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC), announced today three undercard bouts for ONE FC: RISE TO POWER. Up and coming Lowen Tynanes will battle the seasoned Felipe Enomoto while MMA veteran Tim Sylvia is back in action against Tony Johnson and fan favorite Ryan Diaz will take on Russian ace Yusup Saadulaev. All the action takes place live on 31 May from the MOA Arena in Manila, Philippines.

As a young MMA fighter, Lowen Tynanes has already made a big impression by winning fights against top opponents in the Philippines, Japan and Malaysia. The high school wrestling champion silenced the home-crowd in Manila by incapacitating crowd-favorite Eduard Folayang with a vicious elbow which caused the doctor to instantly stop the fight. In his last outing at ONE FC, Tynanes also defeated Hong Kong-based South African fighter Vuyisile Colossa via rear naked choke. A proud American, he loves nothing better than to travel to Asia to take on the best local fighters in their own back yards. Tynanes is once again looking forward to showcasing his skills when he takes on Swiss-Japanese fighter Felipe Enomoto.

Each time Felipe Enomoto has entered into the ONE FC cage, he has been the underdog. This time, it is no different. Having established a reputation as being one of the toughest and most durable fighters in Asia who always leaves it all in the cage, Enomoto will undoubtedly be looking to silence the crowd with a decisive victory in the early rounds. Any fight which involves Enomoto is going to be a treat for MMA fans because this fighter never backs down no matter who the opponent is or which round he’s in.

One of the most frightening figures the MMA world has ever witnessed in combat sports action is Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia. Towering at over two meters tall, this brute of a man poses a serious threat to every heavyweight fighter in the world. Sylvia has fought over 30 times, won numerous championships and knocked out countless opponents. Sylvia’s unusual combination of size and quickness has ushered in a new era of monstrous, weight cutting heavyweights who seek total domination of their smaller counterparts. Sylvia is looking for a spectacular KO when he squares off against Tony Johnson on 31 May.

Tony Johnson is an imposing heavyweight fighter. Considered a top prospect in the heavyweight division, Johnson is famed for being one of the fastest strikers in the division and is currently on a two fight win streak. At ONE FC: RISE TO POWER, he will be looking to make an impressive debut in the famed ONE FC cage.

Ryan Diaz has been training in MMA for over ten years and already has thirteen professional wins to his name. Over a long career, Diaz continues to perfect his background in BJJ, Muay Thai and boxing. He possesses incredible power and strength. Diaz is much more experienced of the two fighters and will be looking to use his strength to overpower his Russian opponent and return to the USA victorious. After 2 outings in the ONE FC cage, Russian wrestler Saadulaev is still searching for his first ONE FC victory and will enter the cage for the third time with the determination to prevent a Diaz win at all costs.

Tickets for ONE FC: RISE TO POWER on 31 May are exclusively available at Casino Filipino outlets nationwide. Refer to www.onefc.com/tickets for details.

Fans from around the world can witness the action online via live streaming atwww.onefc.livesport.tv.

The first three undercard fights are available for viewing free-of-charge and the main card fights will be available for purchase at just US$9.99.

ONE FC: RISE TO POWER is headlined  by a ONE FC Featherweight World Championship bout between reigning champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario against number one contender Koji Oishi and pound-for-pound king Bibiano Fernandes taking on Koetsu Okazaki for the ONE FC Bantamweight Interim Title.  All the action takes place live from the MOA Arena in Manila, Philippines.

 

For more updates on ONE Fighting Championship™, please visit www.onefc.com and follow on Twitter @ONEFCMMA and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ONEFCMMA.

Eduard Folayang: “I have learned my lessons and it motivates me to go this far to learn and get better.”

Photo by: Willy Foo

Photo by: Willy Foo

After a devastating loss against Lowen Tynanes at URCC 22 ‘Dekada’, Filipino MMA superstar Eduard “Landslide” Folayang (12-3) looks for redemption as he faces a very tough opponent in Kamal Shalorous (7-3-2), an UFC and WEC vet who is known for his knockout power and wrestling skills in his home turf at One FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’ on May 31st at the SM Mall Of Asia Arena.

Folayang is currently in the U.S, training and honing his ground game at Drysdale Jiu Jitsu in Las Vegas with Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy and Martin .He also made a quick visit at Reign Training Center, an MMA gym owned by Filipino-American UFC fighter, Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz.

“I have an opportunity to go and visit Reign Training Center at Orange County, California, but it was a limited time so I grasped the chance to visit Mark and train with him. I learned some techniques with him and I’m very glad I have that chance to be with him. Mark Munoz is a very accommodating and hospitable man you can ever meet in MMA world. I thank him even for that short time to talk and share the same faith we have. May God continue to widen his territory.”

“My trip here in the U.S is a good eye opener for me to see the MMA world in a wider perspective. It’s also a good opportunity to train with high level of fighters and train with the best coaches in the business. My training here in Drysdale is awesome, I joined their PRO MMA Class and it was great. A lot of great fighters to be with and lessons to be grasped. There is a lot of difference with the regime I used to have, that’s why it needs adjustment on my part. There is some similarity though on some part.”

Folayang is famous for his striking skills, never ending cardio and deadly ground and pound game, but one thing that is evident in his past fights is that he had some tough times avoiding his opponent’s take downs. Although he hasn’t been submitted in the past, the always humble Folayang admits that he really needs to improve his ground skills and that he is quite far from being a complete fighter; but he is working hard to bring his game into a whole new level. In fact, his training partner at Drysdale, Dan Hardy, who rolled with the Filipino fighter a couple of times, tweeted us that Folayang’s ground game is “very good”.

“Training with Dan is an opportunity. I don’t know that he is Dan Hardy though I have an idea that he is a UFC fighter that time we are on training. I’m happy to have the chance to roll and wrestle with him. You know, I learned here that training with high level fighters is not only about getting their backs or submitting them, because we cannot avoid that and even those who doesn’t know much about fighting who are good on the ground can submit you and dominate you. It’s more about learning a technique and applying it effectively.”

When asked on when he is coming home, “I’ll be coming home soon.”

On May 31st, 2013, Folayang will return inside the cage in front of his home crowd as he takes on a much decorated MMA fighter in Shalorous at One FC 9 ‘ Riste to Power’ happening at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

“It was announced already that my next opponent is Kamal Shalorous, a very decorative wrestler and brawler who already fought big names in the UFC and WEC. This fight is very important for me, I have learned my lessons on the past and it motivates me to go this far to learn, train and get better.”

When asked on what can his Filipino fans expect from him on May 31st, “Fans can expect nothing only something that God is preparing for the next step.”

For sure Eduard Folayang’s U.S trip is all worth it as he acquired new things and added them in his arsenal. We will surely see a better and more dangerous Folayang against Shalorous in Manila in May 31st. He is thankful for those people who supported his trip and to his fans that are always behind him supporting whatever decision he makes in his career.

“I thank my Lord Jesus for the provisions He provided for my expenses to be defrayed and to those people who contributed and willingly accommodated me for my training here: Kuya Dave Taclobao his wife Ruby Jean and his family, Alexander Bangsoy and his Goshenland Company, Dr. Harold Hiyadan, My brothers Joseph and Heraldo Carosen, George Forayang, Joel Aliping, Melvin Magata and his family, Nader Zamani. I also want to thank my teammates in Team Lakay and bro Mark Sangiao for their continuous support. My family, fans and fellow Kingdom of God citizens and Genevieve Aloy.”

One FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’ will be headlined by a world featherweight championship as Folayang’s teammate, Honoro “The Rock” Banario will defend his title for the first time against a veteran Japanese fighter, Koji Oishi.

Bantamweight phenom Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes will make his second One FC appearance against highly talented Koetsu Okazaki for the interim bantamweight title.

Also, Masakatsu Ueda and Kevin Belingon will battle it out to win the One FC Bantamweight Grand Prix title. This will be a crucial fight for both fighters as they try to step closer to the title picture.

You can check out the rest of the fight card for One FC ‘Rise to Power’ at http://www.onefc.com 

Team Lakay’s Geje Eustaquio Faces Phuket Top Team’s Andrew Leone On May 31st in Manila!

Photo by: Onefc.com

Photo by: Onefc.com

Two very skilled flyweight fighters are set to face each other in front of thousands of fight fans and will surely give us a heck of a fight as Team Lakay’s Geje “The Gravity” Eustaquio (4-1) scraps with Phuket Top Team’s Andrew Leone (5-2) on  May 31st for One FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’ at SM MOA Arena in the Philippines and will try to get themselves closer to the One FC flyweight title picture.

One FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’ will be headlined by One FC world featherweight championship as Team Lakay’s Honorio “The Rock” Banario (8-1) defends his world title against a highly skilled veteran Koji Oishi (23-9-10).

Brazilian bantamweight phenom Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes (13-3) looks for his second One FC win as he takes on Koetsu Okazaki (8-2) for the One FC Interim Bantamweight Title.

Andrew Leone is a natural flyweight fighter and is quite a massive fighter for the said weight class. He is a wrestling coach at PTT and got some wicked ground game. It will be an interesting to see how good Leone’s striking is as he currently trains with some of the best strikers in Asia in Phuket, Thailand.

Leone has a notable wins over UFC bantamweight fighter, Kong Hyo Kang and the current One FC world bantamweight champ, Soo Chul Kim. It has been almost a year since we saw Leone in action, that’s why I’m pretty sure that he is pumped for this fight and looks to win his One FC debut against the super tough fighter from the Phililppines, Geje Eustaquio in front of thousands of Filipino fight fans in Manila.

Andrew Leone is probably Eustaquio’s toughest opponent to date, but one thing I like about this warrior is that he never get intimidated by his foe. Like what I’ve said before, Eustaquio is a tactician, he fights hard and smart. He is one of the well-rounded fighters at Team Lakay. He works hard everyday to be the best because he knows that fighting in a world-class fighter in a world-class MMA promotion requires a lot of sacrifices just to get on top.

This will be Eustaquio’s second One FC appearance. He made his One FC debut last February 11 of 2012 against world-class BJJ champion, Alex Silva. Geje won that fight via unanimous decision and showed that he is one of the most feared flyweights in Asia today. Eustaquio is famous for his striking abilities and a very relaxed but deadly style of fighting. He will once again, go up against a superb grappler in Leone. Although he has fought and beaten some of the best grapplers in Asian MMA, Eustaquio never underestimates Leone and he will fight like it is a world championship fight.

This match-up is probably one of the most anticipated at One FC 9 in Manila.

One FC 9 will also feature Filipino MMA icon Eduard Folayang (12-3) versus WEC and UFC vet Kamal Shalorus (7-3-2).

Another Team Lakay fighter will be seen live in action on May 31st as Kevin Belingon (11-2) will make the most important fight of his MMA career as he will go up against Japanese submission specialist, Masakatsu Ueda (17-2) for the One FC Bantamweight Grand Prix Finals.

Also, Former UFC flyweight fighter, Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-6-6) looks to end his losing skid against Rey “The Punisher” Docyogen (10-1), who looks to redeem himself after a devastating 3rd round submission defeat at the hands of Shinichi Kojima at One FC ‘Return of Warriors’ last February.

Check out ww.onefc.com for the latest updates.

Honorio Banario To Defend His Belt Against Koji Oishi at ONE FC ‘Rise to Power’ in Manila on May 31st!

honorio

ONE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP™ Presents: Rise to Power Live On May 31st From SM Mall Of Asia Arena In Manila Philippines.

Honorio “The Rock” Banario To Defend His One FC Featherweight World Championship Title Against Koji Oishi and Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes Clashes With Koetsu Okuzaki For The One FC Bantamweight Interim Title

Here is the official press release:

10 April 2013 – Manila: ONE Fighting Championship™ (ONE FC), in association with Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC), returns to the fight capital of Asia on Friday, 31 May, with the highly anticipated first title defense of hometown hero ONE FC Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario. Banario will put it all on the line when he takes on Japanese submission specialist Koji Oishi. Plus, pound-for-pound king Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes returns to the famed ONE FC cage when he squares off against Japanese MMA sensation Koetsu Okazaki for the ONE FC Bantamweight Interim Title. All the action will take place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in what is expected to be the greatest fight card ever compiled in ONE FC history. After selling out arenas throughout Asia it is finally time for ONE FC to return to the Philippines.

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Koji Oishi

CEO of ONE Fighting Championship™ Victor Cui stated, “ONE FC will be back in the fight capital of Asia on 31 May with a stacked fight card that is sure to get the adrenaline pumping for the passionate Filipino fight fans. This event could possibly be the largest in ONE FC’s history and features the top names in MMA, headlined by ONE FC Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario. Of course, having one of the greatest fighters on earth fighting on this card in Manila is sure to be a special night for MMA. Bibiano Fernandes always brings his best when he steps into the cage. Close to 20,000 fans will pack out the SM Mall of Asia Arena to witness the greatest sporting spectacle in the world.”

Tickets for ONE FC: RISE TO POWER will launch in Casino Filipino branches across the Philippines starting on 19 April 2013.

Fans from around the world can witness the action online via live streaming at www.onefc.livesport.tv. The first two undercard fights are available for viewing free-of-charge and the main card fights will be available for purchase at just US$9.99.

ONE FC Featherweight Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario is one of the top Mixed Martial Artists in the world today. He is a member of the legendary Team Lakay where he trains alongside fellow ONE FC fighters Eduard Folayang and Kevin Belingon under head coach Mark Sangiao. Banario comes from a Wushu background, an ancient Chinese martial art whose practitioners are recognizable by a diverse range of striking techniques. Despite his striking credentials, five of Banario’s eight wins were by submission, proving how versatile he really is. Banario captured the ONE FC crown when he defied all odds by defeating his fellow countryman Eric Kelly at ONE FC: RETURN OF WARRIORS via TKO. Banario will be looking to hold onto his title when he battles the ever so tough submission specialist from Japan, Koji Oishi.

Koji Oishi is a 35 year-old Japanese mixed martial arts veteran and former Lightweight King of Pancrase. He comes from a wrestling and karate background and is renowned for leaving everything on the line in brawls against some of the best in the business, including Chris Lytle, Carlos Condit and both of the Diaz brothers.

ONE FC Bantamweight World Champion Soo Chul Kim is currently undergoing shoulder surgery and will be out of action for an indefinite period of time. Therefore, ONE FC officials have decided that an interim ONE FC Bantamweight World Championship title will be introduced until Kim is ready to make a comeback.

Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes is undeniably one of the best fighters in the world today. His never-ending gas tank, explosive take-downs and lighting fast strikes have garnered him a huge fan base amongst Asian and international fans alike. Fernandes made his ONE FC debut in August 2012 at ONE FC: PRIDE OF A NATION where he defeated journeyman Gustavo Falciroli via unanimous decision. A veteran who has fought countless Japanese fighters, Fernandes will have his toughest test yet when he battles Japanese sensation Koetsu Okazaki.

Koetsu Okazaki - Tetsu Hadairo

Koetsu Okazaki – Tetsu Hadairo

Okazaki is the latest top Japanese fighter to sign for ONE FC and is one of the most experienced fighters in the entire bantamweight division. He is a tenacious competitor known to never back down from any opponent. Okazaki specializes in submissions but he is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with anyone if that is what it takes to get the win. Okazaki knows that a win over Fernandes will get him the global recognition that he deserves and the ONE FC Bantamweight Interim Title wrapped around his waist.

For more updates on ONE Fighting Championship™, please visit www.onefc.com and follow on Twitter @ONEFCMMA and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ONEFCMMA.

One FC Featherweight Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario Is Ready To Fight Whoever Matchmakers Want Him To

Honorio Banario captures the One FC featherweight belt in Feb. 2nd against Eric Kelly - Photo by Sev B Jr. for MMA Orient

Honorio Banario captures the One FC featherweight belt in Feb. 2nd against Eric Kelly – Photo by Sev B Jr. for MMA Orient

Honorio Banario became the first ever Filipino to win a world title in MMA when he stopped Eric Kelly in the fourth round of their fight at ONE FC: ‘Return of Warriors’ in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month.

The 23 year old from Benguet graduated from the Cordillera Career Development College with a BS in Criminology but instead of chasing down villains in the streets of Baguio he has opted to stand his ground against opponents as a full time MMA fighter.
A crowd of 11,000 people were on hand to witness Banario’s last win which will be shown in the Philippines on Star Sports but the newly crowned ONE FC Featherweight Champion warns any prospective mixed martial artists that fighting professionally is far from an easy career option, “For aspiring fighters you need to have focus in training, have discipline in yourself. You need motivation and discipline otherwise you will never become a successful fighter in the future.”

With a professional MMA record of 8-1 Banario is already at the pinnacle of the sport but the journey to becoming a world champion is a long one which began in 2010 with the URCC. A year after making his debut he became URCC lightweight champion and went on to win six fights out of six for the Filipino promotion.
When Banario finally got the chance to fight for a world title his opponent turned out to be none other than Kelly, a URCC featherweight champion who he had trained alongside and sparred with at the Team Lakay Gym in Baguio.

With a record of 9-0 and a recent win over former UFC champion Jens Pulver the majority of fans expected Kelly to have too much experience for his former training partner and Banario enjoyed upsetting the odds, “It’s an honour for me to represent the Philippines and be the first Filipino to win a world championship belt in MMA. The underdog will always win if he has the heart and mind and focus on the fight.”

Banario is a member of Team Lakay in Baguio which was founded by fellow criminology graduate Mark Sangiao. He trains alongside URCC champions and ONE FC title contenders Kevin Belingon, Rey Docyogen and Eduard Folayang and says he spent two months preparing for his last fight.

He finished the fight with a left hook which appeared to damage his opponent’s eye but rejected suggestions that the decisive strike might have been an illegal poke rather than a legitimate punch, “It was punch with my fist, definitely not a poke. He always punches me with his right arm so I just covered it and punched with my left. When I spar Eric before I always caught him with the striking so I trained very hard to make my striking powerful and solid for this fight.”

Banario’s first title defence will take place on home soil with ONE FC set to return to Manila in the next couple of months. He says he has no preference over who the opponent will be and is ready to fight whoever matchmakers want him to.

After winning a world championship with the biggest MMA organization in Asia even the most dedicated of fighters would normally enjoy a few drinks but Banario has no party planned and plans to mark the occasion by eating his favourite dish with a few close friends,

“I don’t know what I will do to celebrate, maybe when we go home we will have some Pinikpikan!”

My MMA Weekend in Kuala Lumpur. One FC Return of Warriors.

Feature Story. SevBJr a.k.a. Zilvidu, chief photographer  for mmaorient.net shares with us his Photos at One FC 7 and his thoughts about his MMA weekend experience in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

On the weekend of February 2, three Pinoy athletes top billed a big sporting event held at Putra Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Honorio Banario, Eric Kelly and Rey Docyogen fought in the MMA event promoted by the most prestigious organization in Asia, the One Fighting Championship. From my base here in Singapore I traveled to Kuala Lumpur over the weekend and  had the privilege to shoot at cage-side. It was an amazing first time experience for me to go to a foreign country, meet our Pinoy athletes as well as other incredible fighters from other nations, and personalities in the Asian MMA scene.

I attended the event,  mainly for the photo coverage for mmaorient.net, my blog ritratozilvidu.com and pinoystaronline.com. Being able to witness the weigh-in drama before the actual event night, witnessed some of the interview sessions,  shoot behind-the-scene photos, and had brief chat with some of the amazing athletes that were in the event – were all part of an extraordinary weekend that I’ve been waiting for, two months prior.

Me and my sister, who also traveled with me to KL to watch the event, arrived at KL airport in the morning of February 1, a day before the actual fight night. From the airport we took  the Skybus to KL Sentral, and from there we took a taxi ride to Mines Wellness Hotel and arrived just in time to catch the weigh-ins of the fighters in the main card.

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At the weigh-ins, the two Pinoy fighters who fought in the main event Eric Kelly and Honorio Banario both weighed over the 145lbs (66kgs) upper limit for Featherweight competitors and had to shed those extra pounds on weigh-in day itself.  They had to go through rapid weight reduction technique (i.e. dehydration) in-order to make weight.

Rehydration time for Eric Kelly

Rehydration time for Eric Kelly

After sitting in the sauna for a few hours or so, and after a couple of re-weigh-ins, both fighters finally made weight on the day before they stepped into the cage. The weigh-ins itself has its fair share of drama.

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The following day, February 2nd, I was very excited at fight night that instead of taking the free shuttle ride packaged by one of One FC’s event partners, I hailed a taxi from my hotel to Putra Stadium. I arrived at the stadium about an hour and a half before the first match took place. There were already a lot of early birds lining up at the entrance waiting for the gates to open, while others were very busy buying MMA merchandise or promo items from the sponsors’ booths outside the venue.

A Marriage proposal inside the ONE FC Cage

A Marriage proposal inside the ONE FC Cage

I went inside the Stadium before the organizers opened the gates to the Public. When the gates opened, fans who were able to come in early saw a wedding proposal happen right inside the One FC Cage!

The Show started at 7:00PM all fighters came out from the locker room one-by-one, in a very exciting introduction that is complete with pyrotechnics and confetti. It was immediately followed by the first match which started at about 7:15pm.

I honestly believe that all the matches were exciting, but would like to highlight three from the main-card.

Lowens Tynanes defeated Vuyisile Colossa via Submission
Lowen Tynanes the Hawaiian who has 1/4 of Filipino blood running through his veins, won against a very good striker in South African Vuyisile Colossa. Tynanes’ face was covered with blood after getting hit hard by Vuyisile’s elbow strikes from the bottom. Tynanes was successful with his takedown attempts, and I think it was obvious that he worked on his ground game, as he attempted submission moves each time the fight went to the ground. In the stand-up game however, the advantage goes to the South-African kickboxer who connected on some kicks, elbows and punches. Somehow, Tynanes grinded a win by constantly going back to his wrestling strength, and again on the 3rd round he was able to takedown Colossa. He then showed his MMA skills by winning via rear naked choke. This is my pick for the “Fight-of-the-Night” award.

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Shinichi “BJ” Kojima defeated Rey “The Punisher” Docyogen via Submission
The co-main event of the evening was an exciting match and one that I was looking forward to seeing eversince it was officially announced by One FC.  The match between undefeated Filipino and URCC (Universal Reality Combat Championship, Filipino MMA Organization) flyweight champion Rey Docyogen against MMA veteran and former SHOOTO (Japanese MMA organization) champion Shinichi “BJ” Kojima. It was a match that would determine the contender for the One FC Flyweight Belt.

The Filipino was winning the stand-up battle for the most part of the fight, and was able to tag the Japanese with good punches and kicks. Rey Docyogen capitalized on his strength in the striking department, and was doing well in the first and a half part of the fight.  With only a few seconds left in the 2nd round however, the veteran savvy of Shinichi Kojima won the fight for him as he finished the fight via grappling technique, he pulled off a guillotine choke from the clinch and pulled guard to win via submission. It was the first loss in the Pinoy fighter’s MMA career.

For me as a Pinoy MMA fan, it should prove to be a very good learning experience for Docyogen, fighting BJ Kojima who is regarded as arguably, one of the top flyweight prospects in the world. Rey gave his opponent all he could handle before eventually losing the fight. In fact, on the day after the fight, I bumped into BJ Kojima at the Kuala Lumpur airport. I congratulated him for his win and I noticed his left eye was still swelling from the strikes he received from Docyogen.

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Honorio Banario defeated Eric Kelly via TKO
In the main event of the evening, the All-Filipino battle between two warriors Eric Kelly and Honorio Banario started as a feeling out process in the first round. Both fighters gauged each other early and paced themselves for their Five, 5-minute round fight. In my “unofficial score-card” I had my compatriot from Mankayan, Benguet, Honorio Banario winning the first 3 rounds. As they went back and forth in the striking battle, Kelly’s highlights strikes were a solid overhand right that connected, a few front kicks and liver kicks. As for Honorio, he dictated the pace, and was the first to initiate the action for the most part. He connected with leg kicks and scored on a takedown and ground and pound as he briefly mounted Kelly’s back. The fight ended in the Fourth round when Honorio landed a big left hook that immediately opened up a cut on Eric Kelly’s right eye. Kelly was staggered and slowly went down to the mat with both eyes closed , his hand signalling a stop. Referee Yuji Shimada stepped in to stop the fight and award the inaugural One  Fighting Championship Featherweight belt to Team Lakay’s Honorio “The Rock” Banario.IMG_7834

All-in-all, I am glad that I made this trip to Kuala Lumpur. I am very proud of the performances of my compatriots from the Philippines. They performed well in front of a foreign audience. Read their stories, heard about their personal struggles, the sacrifices they had to make in order to get to this point in their careers and being recognized as the regions best. I have nothing but RESPECT to to these fighters. I respect all fighters regardless of their nationality. I’m pretty sure that each one of them have their own inspiring stories to tell, interesting stories that go beyond their tough guy, warrior image and celebrity status.

As for our Pinoy Fighters, I believe that they’re making a case for more recognition from our kababayan in the Philippines and abroad. These fighters are always proud to raise our flag, no matter where they go and no matter what the odds are. As I was shooting photos at cageside, I felt a sense of pride each time I heard some random cheers from Filipinos in the crowd, cheering for Rey, Honorio and Eric.

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To the newly crowned Featherweight Champion Honorio Banario, had he not pushed himself to his mental and physical limits in order to make weight, there shouldn’t have been a title fight and nobody would be celebrating a Filipino crowned champion in One FC today. As for Eric Kelly, his stories can be found in almost every Asian MMA publication, and followers of Asian MMA now know he has sacrificed a lot to come this close to becoming a world Champion. He has found a “second home” and have very supportive training partners, gym mates and students at Muayfit gym in Malaysia which means he has everything he needs to come back strong and make another run for the title. There is no shame in gettting the first career loss to a worthy opponent. As cliche as it may sound,  character is not measured by how one handles success, but instead, it is measured by how one handles failure. Honorio is a case in point, he has tasted defeat in the past, and look where he is right now.

The same is true for Rey Docyogen, there is no shame in losing to a world class athlete like BJ Kojima.  Everytime a fighter from Japan is in the cage, it’s almost a guarantee that we’ll be seeing great action. I enjoyed this fight between Rey and BJ, both are awesome fighters. I am particularly proud that Docyogen showed he can hang and bang with one of the world’s best flyweights, I hope to see him come back stronger and learn from this set-back.

The best thing to remember now is that, winning isn’t always a victory, and losing isn’t always a defeat. While I am proud of our new champion Honorio Banario, I am still very proud and still believe in Rey Docyogen and Eric Kelly. MABUHAY!

Other Fight Results at One FC Return of Warriors:
Adam Shahir Kayoom def. Zuli Silawanto via Submission (RNC)
Peter Davis def. Leo Krishna via Doctor’s Stoppage
Thanh Vu def. Mohd Fouzein via TKO (Strikes)
Melvin Yeoh def. Raymond Tiew via Submission (triangle choke)
Jian Kai Chee def. Aj Pyro via Unanimous Decision
Jake Butler def. Antoni Romulo via TKO (Strikes)
Gianni Subba def. Saiful Merican via Submission (Armbar)